White Sox take Crosstown Classic with 8-3 win

Updated 5/8/2014 8:38 AM
  • White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham greets Moises Sierra at home plate after his three-run homer in the fourth inning of the Crosstown Classic.

      White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham greets Moises Sierra at home plate after his three-run homer in the fourth inning of the Crosstown Classic. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Today it's the Crosstown Cup. Tomorrow, the World, as in Series, for the White Sox?

OK, that's a bit much -- way too much for a team still hacking out some lingering exhaust from a 99-loss season in 2013.

But the Sox are on a fun little run at the moment, and they captured the Cup after beating the Cubs for the third straight time Wednesday night, an 8-3 decision at U.S. Cellular Field.

The White Sox (18-17) are back over the .500 mark, they're riding a four-game winning streak, and they occupy second place in the AL Central.

The lone negative? It was the crowd of 21,075, far and away the lowest ever to see a Sox-Cubs game since interleague play started in 1997.

But considering where they came from, and considering current injuries to key players like Chris Sale, Avisail Garcia, Adam Eaton and Nate Jones, the White Sox find themselves in a pretty good place.

"We're a fun team," said starting pitcher John Danks (3-2), who earned the win after allowing 3 runs on 4 hits while striking out 8 in 6 innings. "It never feels like we're out of a ballgame.

"We play hard, and pitching's coming around. These guys are battling hard, going up there with a plan and for the most part executing it, and as pitchers we like it. We like it when they score 8 runs."

Gordon Beckham got the offense going Wednesday with a 3-run homer off Cubs starter Travis Wood (2-4) in the fourth inning. It was the second straight game Beckham cleared the fences, and the second baseman is a lifetime .348 hitter with 6 homers against the North Siders.

"I think we've got a good vibe going," Beckham said. "Obviously, we have a good winning streak going. We are having some fun. Guys are hitting. We are getting good pitching. You can't ask for anything more."

Even Paul Konerko got into the act Wednesday.

Starting at designated hitter against the left-handed Wood, Konerko doubled twice in 3 at-bats. The first one came with the bases loaded in the fifth inning and knocked in 3 runs, breaking the game open.

"It was good, fun game," Konerko said. "I thought the whole lineup up and down had a really good approach. We stuck with it and took our walks. (Wood) likes to pitch in a lot and hope guys will try to pull it. We were getting inside of it and hitting the ball to center field, and that just led to a lot of good things."

Konerko had 2 RBI for the season coming in. He now has 5.

"It was good to get out there and help the team," he said. "It was just how you draw it up. What I do out there now, it's not so much the quantity. You hope you do something good that matters in the game and it's at the right moment. So that feels good."

It was a good win for the White Sox, and Konerko has one more game against the rival Cubs, assuming he plays Thursday night.

"Listen, the Cubs-Sox, it's always great," Konerko said. "There's no way it's not. Is it what it was 10 years ago? It doesn't feel like it. But I think that goes along with all the interleague games because the more you do it, the more it just doesn't have the same feel. But it's better than losing three out of four, or the series.

"When I got to this team, winning this season series was just about as important, if not more important, than making the playoffs, for some reason. It was ingrained in me early on that this was a big deal for our fans. Our fans care a lot about how we do against the Cubs."


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